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Dr. Susan
Dr. Susan, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 6785
Experience:  8 years of clinical experience with specialty in veterinary pain management, urology, and geriatrics
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My dog has just had 4 puppies yesterday with her first litter,

Resolved Question:

My dog has just had 4 puppies yesterday with her first litter, everything went well. Today she is breathing very fast and panting a lot. We are giving her plenty to drink and taking care that the room temprature is neither too hot or too cold. She had a wee and poo this morning and her poo was a bit runny and black she doesn't seem to have any other symptoms. I am very worried please tell me what to do.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Susan replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Susan :

Hi, I can help you with your question today.

Dr. Susan :

Is this Willow's first litter?

Customer:

yes

Dr. Susan :

How much does she weigh?

Customer:

I can't remember exactly but she is definately not overweight. When we had her scanned to make sure she was pregnant I think she weighed 8 kilos

Dr. Susan :

Is she only panting in the whelping box with the puppies, or is she also panting outside?

Customer:

She hasn't come out of the box much only to go to the toilet once to poo and wee but it mainly seems to be in the welping box

Dr. Susan :

Ok, panting can be due to two main reasons post partum.

Dr. Susan :

One is simply high temperature from the puppies.

Dr. Susan :

The other is hypocalcemia, which is more likely when a small breed dog has a large number of puppies.

Customer:

we have been giving her calcium tablet

Dr. Susan :

This is known as eclampsia in the dug.

Dr. Susan :

Were you giving her calcium before the puppies were born?

Customer:

no

Customer:

but we gave her sardines and goats milk.

Dr. Susan :

Good. I do not recommend supplementing calcium without knowing if she needs it.

Customer:

also eggs

Dr. Susan :

Then you were supplementing her with high calcium foods during pregnancy.

Dr. Susan :

This actually makes it MORE likely that her calcium will be low after birth.

Customer:

towards the end of her pregnancy

Dr. Susan :

It's counter-intuitive, but that's how it works in dogs.

Dr. Susan :

It would be a good idea to check the ambient temperature of the room as well as her body temperature.

Dr. Susan :

Based on the history though, I definitely think it would be best to have her blood calcium tested at your local vet also.

Dr. Susan :

If she has hypocalcemia/eclampsia, we can see muscle tremors, behavior change, and even seizures.

Customer:

nothing like that

Customer:

we will get her calcium checked by the vet

Dr. Susan :

Yes, we see those signs as hypocalcemia progresses and moves from mild to more severe levels.

Dr. Susan :

Excellent.

Dr. Susan :

You can also take her temperature rectally if you have a digital thermometer.

Customer:

is there anything I can do if I can't get in touch with my vet?

Dr. Susan :

I would consider anything above 39.4C febrile.

Customer:

Also do you recommend that we give her another half of calcium tablet or stop giving them to her?

Customer:

I will check her temp.

Dr. Susan :

At this point, I would continue the tablet for now until you have her calcium measured. I'm afraid that she may worsen since you have already been giving the calcium until this point.

Customer:

now you really do have me worried especially as my vet closed at 1pm

Dr. Susan :

I don't want to be an alarmist, but I definitely need to warn you of the possibilities!

Customer:

Right I will call an emergency vet and see if they can help

Dr. Susan :

Excellent. I think that is the safest move.

Customer:

my husband is just check her temp and it's 38.6

Dr. Susan :

OK, that's a reasonable body temperature, so I do think it is a good idea to have that calcium measured. Is she panting now?

Customer:

she is in her bed with the pups and she is panting a little bit my husband says

Customer:

b

Dr. Susan :

OK, while waiting to hear from the emergency vet, you can remove her from the pups for a short while if she will allow it and see if the panting stops.

Customer:

ok I will try that but she get very stressed when she is taken away from them.

Dr. Susan :

Understandable.

Dr. Susan :

Stress can cause panting too, so that might not tell us much.

Customer:

she did go outside earlier and the panting stopped. she doesn't pant when she is cleaning the pups or when she is eating or drinking

Dr. Susan :

That makes me hopeful. Again, I just want to be certain that we aren't ignoring something more significant.

Customer:

ok I'm going to ring the vet now.

Customer:

thank you for all your advice

Customer:

goodbye

Dr. Susan :

You're welcome.

Dr. Susan :

Please let me know if you have further questions. I am happy to continue until I provide the service that you seek.

Expert:  Dr. Susan replied 2 years ago.
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Dr. Susan, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 6785
Experience: 8 years of clinical experience with specialty in veterinary pain management, urology, and geriatrics
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